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Year of the Noodle: Week 11

Giada De Laurentiis confuses me.  Every time I’ve seen her Food Network show (which admittedly isn’t much seeing as we don’t have TV), she cooks something mouthwatering and calorie laden, yet still manages to look like a stick thin Natalie Portman clone.  Jealous.

Sadly, she really let me down with this alfredo sauce.  The lemon flavor slaps you in the face, and the cheese does not blend into a nice creamy sauce as anticipated.  It turned out citrusy and chunky.  Which is a serious bummer because Mario Batali’s recipe for handmade pasta turned out phenomenal.  The recipe is absurdly simple – it’s literally just flour and eggs – but that’s probably why it came out so delicious.  I kinda wish I had left some of it plain so that it could be used in another dish.

Should you choose to make this alfredo, definitely dial down the lemon zest and cheese.  You can always add more if you’re not as sensitive as I am.  But really, there are far better alfredo sauces out there.  As my sister said, you shouldn’t trust someone that doesn’t look like they eat their own food.  So true.

Fettuccine Alfredo

Fresh Fettuccine Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 5 eggs
Fresh Pasta Directions
  1. Mound the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour, add the eggs. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and begin to incorporate the flour starting with the inner rim of the well. As you incorporate the eggs, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape (do not worry if it looks messy). The dough will come together in a shaggy mass when about half of the flour is incorporated.
  2. Start kneading the dough with both hands, primarily using the palms of your hands. Add more flour, in 1/2-cup increments, if the dough is too sticky. Once the dough is a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up any left over dry bits. Lightly flour the board and continue kneading for 3 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Continue to knead for another 3 minutes, remembering to dust your board with flour when necessary. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature. Roll and form as desired.  Note: Do not skip the kneading or resting portion of this recipe, they are essential for a light pasta.
Sauce Ingredients
  • 18 ounces fresh fettuccine
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Sauce Directions
  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Drain.
  2. Stir 2 cups of the cream and the lemon juice in a heavy large skillet to blend. Add the butter and cook over medium heat just until the butter melts, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Add the pasta and toss. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of cream, and Parmesan to the cream sauce in the skillet. Add the lemon zest, nutmeg, salt, and white pepper. Toss the pasta mixture over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute.
Sources:  Mario Batali and Giada De Laurentiis
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